Google TV just refuses to go away

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Hey. Remember Google TV? Yeah, I didn’t think so. The Internet giant didn’t quite go all in with its attempt at television market revolution, but it’s safe to say it went at least more than half of the way in when it launched the oft-forgotten-about Google TV project. Granted, we’ve heard a couple tiny rumblings over the years — such as when the company announced plans to acquire Motorola — that made us think twice about the demise of such a product. But those moves have all turned out to be nothing more than tiny blips on a radar that is becoming increasingly crowded with Apple’s constant flirtation with the world of Internet television and the disaster that has become Netflix.

But the California-based company took another step toward changing its television irrelevancy Friday by announcing its second version of Google TV. Gone is the complicated and clunky remote control and in is an attitude filled with hope, new channels and application possibilities. From The New York Times …

“One plug connects Google TV, cable and Internet to the television set, which gives viewers a unified TV-watching experience,” Mario Quieroz, head of Google TV, told the paper Friday.

Yeah, but we’ve heard this all before, right? Maybe. The Times continues …

“With Google TV, people can view their cable channels and more than 80,000 shows and movies, some of them for a fee, on services like Amazon.com, Netflix, HBO Go and YouTube,” Claire Cain Miller wrote. “Google improved search in the new version to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Search for ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ for instance, and see a list showing the next time it is playing on TV and where you can watch it online or on streaming services like Netflix. Or say you want to watch a romantic comedy, but don’t want to search the TV listings, Netflix and Amazon separately. Google will scan them all and offer personalized recommendations.”

That’s sort of nifty.

The article goes on to explain that Internet television is undergoing the same evolution regular television went through light years ago when some of the first TV shows featured only a mere radio announcer speaking into a microphone (goodness, just imagine what they could have done with “Jersey Shore!”). “We’re looking for the next generation of MTV’s and HBO’s, just like cable,” Rishi Chandra, head of product for Google TV, told the paper. Interesting.

This all comes in light of that aforementioned deal with Motorola, a company that makes cable television set-top boxes. What that means is that there could very well be a wave of televisions manufactured that come fully equipped with this new technology. And as Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey told Reuters on Friday, the possibilities of such a marriage could be endless …

“If I were Google, the first thing I would do is put (the Google TV software) into the next round of Motorola set-top boxes and say (to the cable providers) ‘We’ll give you half-off for these things, if you put Google TV in,'” he noted.

Ah-ha, says some personal assistant in California who will be a millionaire by the time you finish reading this post.

Now … is it just me or has there been an abundance of Internet television news from some big-boy players in recent months? Apple seems to be ready to move at any moment. Google TV reminded everyone Friday that it indeed does still exist and wants to be a major player in such a fickle world. And Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and every other streaming service is constantly releasing new information about how they plan to profit off television and the Interwebs. In short, we seem closer now than ever to a bomb being dropped on the TV industry. What an exciting time to be offering up a 50th post! (notice the exclamation point and picture somebody smiling).

For what it’s worth, those who already own Google TVs — yes, the 32 of you — that were made by Sony will begin receiving these super duper, life-changing technology upgrades on Sunday. I, on the other hand, will be crying in a darkly lit room as 59 feet of snow tumbles down on us all.

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